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 What Is Community Health?

What Is Community Health?

In a global vision, we can define health as the state of the organism, good or bad. It's the way a person carries himself. Beyond this general conception, we can apprehend the notion of health on several other levels, especially when we decide to specify each area such as mental health, physical health, psychic, etc. In addition to these specifications, health comes in other approaches. In this article, we will focus on understanding the concept of community health, its purpose, objectives, roles and particularities.

What Is Community Health

1. How to define the notion of community health?

The concept of community health appears in the field of public health. It involves the deep participation of the community in improving its health: reflection on needs, priorities; implementation, management and evaluation of activities. From this brief definition, it should be remembered that community health differs from the notion of public health, even if it requires public participation.

As the qualifier indicates, it is the community that builds relevant proposals on what it needs, what it considers to be priorities for its well-being. Thanks to its reflections, the community takes charge of the implementation of activities relating to its health as well as the management and evaluation of its activities. To succeed in this challenge, the community must stay informed through various channels such as ma-clinique.fr which present health news.

2. What can we learn from the WHO's approach to the concept?

The World Health Organization (WHO) has not failed to address the notion of community health. According to her, it is the process by which the members of a community marked by different geographical and social attributes and who are aware of their belonging to the same group, reflect together to find solutions to recurring problems of their health. It is therefore a community process that emphasizes the collective search for health solutions to improve the well-being of a group of people sharing several traits and especially the same living environment.

To achieve conclusive results, the community must express its priority needs and actively participate in the establishment, implementation and evaluation of the various activities proposed to meet the priorities. It is therefore a participatory approach to health that is recognized by the World Health Organization and as such, enshrined in its constitution in these terms: "enlightened public opinion and active cooperation on the part of the public are essential. 'of capital importance for improving the health of populations ".

3. What is special about community health?

The concept of community health has revealed a certain particularity since 1974, when the Lalonde report first highlighted the theme of health promotion. Gradually, community health has become quite an important strategy for achieving better overall health outcomes. Indeed, it is an integral part of public health and constitutes an essential pillar for promoting the health of an entire country. It is perfectly in line with the approaches to be favored in the fights for the protection of the well-being of all.

Its specificity lies in the fact that it targets the well-being of a population, of a group of people and not individual health. In this way, community health makes it possible to promote the comprehensive and local implementation of health. The originality of this concept seems even more visible when you consider its founding principles. First, it is linked to a set of factors relating to geography and demography and of course to social and economic factors. This will mean that community health does not affect just one individual, but an entire population living in a community.

Then, it intervenes where medicine, the health care system and public policies do not offer a sufficiently comprehensive approach to health. Indeed, this limits the implementation of activities that take into account the priorities of the populations. However, with community health, everything becomes possible since it is the community itself that reflects and proposes actions, monitors them and evaluates them. Finally, the last founding factor of community health comes down to the fact that, in order to change individual behavior, it will be necessary to go through the involvement of people, that is to say the community itself. However, it is important to specify that the involvement process remains participatory and non-substitutive.

4. What are the roles and objectives of community health?

According to the definitional approach, community health requires collective involvement to bring about individual change. It is a joint action that can very well be rolled out at the local level. The whole group transforms its norms and this gives rise to a dynamic of change. The roles of community health can be summarized in a few points:

  • Disease prevention
  • Improving the mental and physical health and vitality of individuals through a concerted community;
  • The extension of life
  • Sanitation of the living environment
  • The fight against diseases deemed to be socially important
  • Teaching the individual the rules of personal hygiene
  • The organization of medical and nursing services for the early diagnosis and preventive treatment of diseases
  • The implementation of social measures aimed at ensuring that each member of the community has a standard of living compatible with the protection of well-being.

Community Health Goals

The ultimate goal is to " enable each individual to enjoy his innate right to health and longevity " Winslow, 1952. This is what community health is essentially about. In addition, we can list other specific objectives:

  • Guarantee equality in health through the reduction of health disparities between different categories of people.
  • Give individuals the means to enjoy a full physical and mental life.
  • Adding health to life by decreasing morbidity and disability.
  • Adding years to life by battling premature death, etc.